Currently there are 22 questions tagged with and as I have stumbled upon some (71 questions tagged) tagged questions I started to wonder if we want to address the reclassification of Sansevieria into Dracaena.

Starting from this answer, Create new tag for genus or for species or both?. It would be a feasible option to rename to .

As the fact of reclassification is not that widely known I suppose, I would not simply merge into . On the other hand Snake plants naming is still valid and widely known.


2 Answers 2


I did not know the biologists had been at work and the article you referred to was published in 2014. There are a number of common references to the renaming so I guess it's not unknown.

I think your proposal has merit as long as we add information in the dracaena tag that this now includes Sanseveria.

Of note: the same web page indicates that "Thaumatophyllum bipinnatifidum, formerly Philodendron bipinnatifidum".

  • Dracaena tag has been updated, can an admin rename a tag just like that or the questions has to be retagged? Commented Jan 13, 2021 at 14:16
  • Interesting point; also, Sanseveria/"Sanseveria" is clearly well known & well understood, and continues in use. Thank you
    – M H
    Commented Jan 16, 2021 at 11:55
  • @MH I agree but I think "snake plants" are just as well known and used while still a correct naming unlike "Sanseveria". Commented Jan 18, 2021 at 14:19

Weighing in a bit late here, but does any one use Symphyotricum instead of Aster? Hylotelephium instead of Sedum? Lamprocapnos spectabilis instead of Dicentra spectabilis? No. Just because some taxonomist has to write a paper doesn't mean that we need to follow blindly along. We need, IMO, to follow the Horticulture trade in these instances, or we can quickly lose casual gardeners by referencing plants that they do not recognize.

As for common names yeah they're great if you're a native n English speaker, but not so great if you're not. If we create a Snake Plant (no hyphen, BTW) tag, then do we also create a Mother-in-law's Tongue tag, because some readers many know the plant only by that name? Common names are also commonly used to refer to more than one plant. Examples: Pincushion Flower could be a Scabiosa, a Knautia, or an Armeria, while Snakeplant refers to three different plants in three totally different Families.

I am a huge proponent of following the science, but we must tread a middle ground when it comes to scientific nomenclature. And in no case should we use common names in favor of commonly used botanical names,

  • I understand your point, thank you for sharing it. I went for the common name here after this question/answer. At the end of the day we still could have synonyms for other common names. With the specific example and note that the question is only about this specific genus, I think if someone is about to use an English language site they will most probably have heard "snake plant" as a term. As far as I know you cannot create a tag with space, you have to use hyphen. Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 7:30
  • @BenceKaulics If you can't use spaces in a tag, then I recommend changing the tag to the single word "snakeplant", which is how Wikipedia uses it. Still, there are two other plants with the same common name! The best solution is not one that we users can actually implement - the site should allow synonyms for tag for lookup purposes and hints that users can add/edit to any tag. For example: "Dracaena" should be the tag, "Sansevieria", "Snake Plant" and "snake plant" as both synonyms (a lookup for any of these would find the tag), and hints (hovering over the tag would show the hints).
    – Jurp
    Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 11:01

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